Implementing Lessons Learned into New Ventures

The commercial property market is a largely under-serviced online segment. PropertyHQ is a new site that is quickly gaining traction by knowing the offline market and using that knowledge to translate into the new media. Martin Mambraku is the Managing Director of PropertyHQ.com.au and we talked to him about how he took his property development background, the pain points he experienced from the other side of the table and applied it to this great online market opportunity.

As the Head of Development for the PacLib Industrial Group, Martin was instrumental in large scale development deals at a tactical and strategic level. “I operated across all aspects of the commercial property spectrum from sourcing and purchasing sites, financial feasibility analysis, design and town planning, presenting to potential purchasers and lessee to secure a pre-commitment, managing the building project managers to completion of the development, and finally selling and leasing. By understanding the day-to day realities I was able to create an online commercial real estate site that gives people the information I know they need to do their jobs.”

This experience meant that he was able to use this practical experience to convert the concept of a commercial real estate destination site into a reality even though the online realm was a new environment for him. “Through my property development experience I understood how to identify what was the emerging and most cost effective way to bring a property to market, which is online.”

Martin also identified that the pseudo marketing arm for the business would be the commercial agents who allocate marketing budget as part of the selling campaign they pitch to property vendors. Although PropertyHQ has a billing relationship with the real estate agents, it is actually their customer who pays for the online advertising through the agent’s marketing campaign and building awareness within both of these Buyer and User personnas is a critical part of the Property HQ strategy.

Through experience gained as a buyer and user persona from previous jobs, PropertyHQ were able to map the experience journey and create a site that addressed existing frustrations and unmet information needs in the marketplace. Overlaying that with Martin’s traditional accounting background, the business model takes into consideration things such as recession-proofing, low overhead, high gross margin, little or no trade debtors and scalability, particularly with the back office functionality of the site.

“When you accumulate work experiences, you find that you carry pain points and lessons learned from previous battles. It shapes how you go forward in a lot of ways and I have built a business site that incorporates these hard-won lessons and I hope that it shows for our customers.

What Product Management battle scars do you have that shape the way you approach new projects?